A False Economy of Words

E L Emerson

Hypocrisy? Sounds dramatic, eh? Like I’m accusing someone of witchcraft in a 19th century courtroom. Saying one thing and doing the opposite – doesn’t sound so bad when you roll out the meaning. But when the speaker of said “switchery-doo” is an influencer of millions, and billions in currencies? Well, straighten my wig and pound the gavel, m’lord, it’s time for a public cremation.

There are few words more intimidating than “Buffett” in finance. Once it was “Greenspan,” mover of economic mountains. Now every gesture, chortle and Mark Twain-ish view from the genteel, coke-swilling near-trillionaire stock market savant is investment law. No Congress, committee or Capitol Hill required. It’s Wall Street’s own Schoolhouse Rock sing-along. Buffett signed you, Bill. Now you’re a law.

And who would question the Sage anyway? Many have tried. All who do suffer time’s schythe. And me, well, just another bug on his windshield, I suppose. No aspirations of grandeur. Just pointing at the emperor’s recently (couple of years ago) exposed thigh about index funds making the best retirement sense. And that coming from the world’s icon of “active” investment, albeit at a glacial pace.

Far be it to question that suggestion. And truth be told that many an arguably “good” portfolio holds a US index tracker as one of the animals in the stable. But the nature of these things are ultimately neither buy-low sell-high, or “stable” in terms of their respective participants on whom or who the money is riding. And they love a Vanguard bull.

It’s only when the tide goes out again, and human nature downshifts our thinking from Neocortex to Lizard Brain that the stoopid starts. And the Sage knows it. Not that he’s responsible for it. Just ever so slightly complicit.

As for the hypocrisy? Well, yeah actually.

Here in our era of eight-second attention spans¬†we can’t be reminded enough to question what’s being said.

Even if it’s you who suddenly finds themself as the panel.

E L Emerson, HNW

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